Ben Hall fonds. — 1975. — 2 audio cassettes.
Ben Hall was born in England in 1918, and joined the Royal Air Force in WWII. During the latter days of the war Ben, along with six others were shot down during their fifteenth tour targeting German transportation systems. He survived by parachuting to the ground safely. Finding none of his crew aound him, he hid in the bushes overnight. In the morning he put his sweater on over his jacket to hide his identityand decided to walk west which he determined was towards Switzerland. He was eventually arrested and taken with others by train to Frankfurt where he was interrogated. They were interested in what his job had been and determining how many had been accounted for on his aircraft. He remained a prisoner of war from Feb 14 to May 1945, and then went back to England. He later went to France and served in the underground until the end of the war.
Sent back to his unit, he worked in a depot collecting equipment from all over Europe. He then worked as a social worker and in 1957, now married to Nancy and father of 2 children, the decision was made to emigrate to Canada. Ben was told the country needed woodworkers so he took a carpenters course in order to have a trade when he arrived. Settling at first in Ontario, Ben decided to train for the ministry in the Anglican Church. Then the family spent several years in Hay River where Nancy had a job running a Children’s Receiving Home. Ben needed a change so eventually the family moved to Calgary with their five children where Nancy worked setting up one of the first daycare programs while Ben went to art school. The couple moved to Grande Prairie in the early 1980s, where they retired.
Ben Hall along with his wife, Nancy, were interviewed Oct. 30, 2006, by Bob Scott and Alice Fortier, in Grande Prairie. The tapes were donated to the South Peace Regional Archives in 2006.
Scope and Content
The fonds consists of 2 audio cassettes recording Ben Hall’s experience during WWII and a brief description of his life after the war.